Grey 'Won't Move Needle', Sorrell Tells Morgan Stanley

24 August 2004

Hitting back at comments made last week by US investment bank Morgan Stanley, Sir Martin Sorrell, ceo of WPP Group, insisted it could fund a takeover bid for Grey Global [WAMN: 23-Aug-04] without weakening its financial position.

He refuted Morgan Stanley's assertion that such an acquisition -- currently at due diligence stage -- would 'not help WPP to achieve its long-term goals'. Riposted Sorrell: "It doesn't move the needle at all. Grey, in the context of WPP, is not enormous."

The bank also voiced its opinion that WPP will not lodge a bid. But according to a report in UK Sunday newspaper The Observer, if one is made, it would be mainly funded by a £500,000 ($907.1m; €743.8m) rights issue.

While another entrail-raker told the newspaper that the "market's assumption" is that Sorrell will bid and his bid would "be equity issued".

Crystal balls at twenty paces, gentlemen?

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff